Cornell University Professor Randy Wayne is a campus whistleblower of sorts.
He sounded the alarm on the removal of an Abraham Lincoln statue on campus, which led to its eventual return.
He is active in flagging extreme bias within his department, like when the School of Integrative Plant Science declared Cornell perpetuates “settler colonialism, indigenous dispossession, slavery, racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, antisemitism, and ableism.”
He’s joined the ranks of the Heterodox STEM team to sound off on some of the most pressing issues in academia today.
Now he’s set to give a speech on the death of objective truth in today’s postmodern university. The online talk, hosted by the National Association of Scholars, is slated for March 24.
Wayne, in an email interview with The College Fix, said his argument delves into the fact that when “the search for truth is subservient to another telos, authoritarianism becomes more likely.”
“A democratic republic or open society requires the citizens to discuss topics freely and to think critically and independently before electing leaders,” Wayne said. “…As the individuality of the voters turns into the identity of the party, free and open discussion and critical thinking becomes harder and harder.”
“I have seen this in science where the search for truth is subservient to the party position,” the professor added. “The only thing worse than two parties of people who speak for their party and do not engage with the other side, is a one-party authoritarian state. This occurs when the search for truth is set aside for the proclamation that your party knows the TRUTH and the other side only advances mis- and disinformation.”
Wayne has coined the term “antiprofessor” as an emerging problem.
“One becomes an antiprofessor by not being courageous, by not thinking, or by not professing one’s beliefs aloud,” he wrote March 6 on Heterodox STEM.
Asked by The College Fix when and why this type of professor developed and how many make up the American professoriate, Wayne said it’s been over the last several years.
“I really started noticing that antiprofessors emerged after covid hit and George Floyd was killed,” he said. “I think that they emerged because they didn’t want to be called a racist or a science denier.”
“I guess that at most 20 percent of professors proclaim their beliefs out loud (that is 19.99 percent orthodox thinkers and .01 percent heterodox thinkers), and 80 percent are afraid to profess their beliefs out loud so they are not called names.”
Wayne’s talk March 24 will offer a glimmer of hope, however.
“For many years, Randy Wayne has been watching as an ideology that negates the very idea of science as a search for objective truth. He has been carrying on an increasingly lonely fight to defend the sciences against this corrosive ideology. Despite the odds, Randy characterizes the postmodern university as ‘salvageable,'” organizers state.